Plastic Surgeons vs. Cosmetic Surgeons: What is the Difference?

Conveniently located to serve the areas of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Posted on February 7, 2019 under Cosmetic Surgery

Millions of plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures are performed in the United States each year. These procedures are primarily elective in nature because they are mainly performed for aesthetic purposes. Therefore, ensuring safety of the patient becomes the first priority in any such procedure. The most critical factor in ensuring safety is the surgeon who will perform the procedure.

Dr. A. Dean Jabs and Dr. Franklin D. Richards are board certified plastic surgeons, operating out of offices in Bethesda MD and McLean VA, and providing cutting edge procedures for the breast, body and face. Dr. Jabs and Dr. Richards receive patients from Northern Virginia, Fairfax County, Alexandria, VA, Chevy Chase, Rockville, MD, and surrounding communities.

Organized Support

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) as well as leading plastic surgery associations in each state are key organizations that are working with a goal to improving patient safety and success rate of procedures in cosmetic surgery. These organizations offer certifications and membership to surgeons who possess top professional skills, advanced training and requisite qualifications to carry out various surgical procedures.

The certifications and affiliations of these organizations constitute an authentic benchmark for a patient when they compare between two or more surgeons with regard to the quality of care and the best practices and standards followed at their practice. As leading plastic surgeons, Dr. Jabs and Dr. Richards provide various procedures to patients in Northern Virginia, Fairfax County, Alexandria, VA, Chevy Chase, Rockville, MD, and nearby locations.

Boost to Patient Education in Plastic Surgery

The ASPS, ABPS, and the Utah Plastic Surgery Society (UPSS) have recently achieved an important milestone in their efforts to spread patient education and awareness about choosing the right plastic surgeon for their needs. A lawsuit challenging the validity of the patient education campaign by these organizations had earlier been dismissed by a local court. Now the 10th District U.S. Courts of Appeals in Denver, CO has upheld this dismissal.

The plaintiffs had filed a lawsuit claiming that the awareness campaign launched by these organizations was resulting in a loss of business for the non-plastic surgeons. The appellate court’s decision to uphold the dismissal of the lawsuit serves as a major victory for organized plastic surgery. In a way, the victory also reaffirms the ‘Do Your Homework’ public education campaign spearheaded by the ASPS to increase patient awareness and safety.

The bottom line of the awareness campaign was that cosmetic surgery is safer when it is performed by a plastic surgeon rather than a cosmetic surgeon. The Appeals Court concluded that there was no deceptive advertising, and confirmed the earlier ruling in favor of ASPS, ABPS, and others.

Important Distinction

The UPSS President Brian Brzowski commented on the court’s decision that it reaffirms the need to make the people aware about the vital distinctions between certified plastic surgeons and lesser trained surgeons who may present themselves as similarly qualified. Patients must become more aware and make an informed choice of a plastic surgeon for their aesthetic needs.

If you would like to learn more about plastic surgery procedures performed by Plastic Surgeons Franklin D. Richards, M.D. and A. Dean Jabs, M.D. please visit or Serving patients in and around Northern Virginia, Maryland, Washington DC, McLean, Bethesda, Fairfax County, Rockville, Alexandria, Chevy Chase and Potomac.

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Our Plastic Surgery Associates team includes Dr. Franklin Richards, Dr. A. Dean Jabs, and Dr. Keshav Magge. Each of our plastic surgeons is board-certified, and together they have over 60 years of combined experience. Drs. Richards, Jabs, and Magge are all highly qualified in procedures for the face, breast, and body, and pride themselves in providing excellent results through our state-of-the-art, Quad A certified operating centers